How can deep oscillation therapy/massage help Fibromyalgia?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects the soft tissue, still has no known cause, although is more likely when there is a family history of fibromyalgia and can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms can occur at any age, although more often start around 45 years old. Women have a higher recorded occurrence of fibromyalgia, often with more severe symptoms. Lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can also increase the chance of developing fibromyalgia. Research has also shown that physical and emotional trauma can bring on symptoms or make them more severe. There are various symptoms and no cure, however, there are ways to alleviate the symptoms. One of the most researched therapies that have been recorded to have positive effects is deep oscillation therapy/massage. Symptoms of Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) Common:

  • widespread and disabling pain (over multiple sites, including the face)
  • stiffness of joints and muscles (over multiple sites, including the face)
  • feeling of 'heavy' legs
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • chronic fatigue
  • cognitive problems such as, difficulty concentrating and memory loss, known as “fibro-fog”
  • increased pain during menstruation
  • numbness and tingling, especially in hands and feet
  • sleep disturbance
  • depression, and anxiety
  • increased sensitivity to heat and cold Less common:
  • chest pain and respiratory problems
  • dermatological (skin) problems
  • balance problems and dizziness
  • vision disturbance and dry eye
  • nausea and abdominal pain or discomfort
  • pelvic discomfort and urinary problems, such as interstitial cystitis
  • weight gain What causes the pain? Research indicates that the pain caused by Fibromyalgia is due to an overactive response from the nervous system which effects how your brain interprets pain.

Contraindications to deep oscillation therapy

  • Any infection of soft tissues or skin such as cellulitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vascular disorders
  • Heart disorders, any implanted stimulators such as cardiac pacemakers
  • Pregnancy
  • Increased sensitivity to electrostatic fields

How does deep oscillation therapy/massage work?

Treatment for Fibromyalgia with deep oscillation therapy/massage aims to alleviate all of the symptoms and is especially effective for reducing widespread pain, both in the short and long term. Deep oscillation therapy has been extensively researched and the effects are clinically proven. Your therapist will use a machine that creates electrostatic attraction and friction. The therapist manipulates a manual applicator over the skin, moving it rhythmically back and forth repeatedly, to create a pulsating electrostatic field. This forces the lymph valves to open and close which stimulates the faster drainage of lymph fluid and increases vascular circulation. The treatment is pleasant and will give almost immediate relief from pain, the deep-acting effect will continue to work to suppress tissue inflammation and alleviate stiffness of the joints and muscles. Patients also report improved sleep patterns, a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression and an improvement in energy levels. Studies have shown even one treatment can have long term effects, however for the most benefits it is likely multiple sessions will be needed.

Clinically proven benefits of deep oscillation therapy/massage

  • Alleviates pain in the short and long term
  • Relieves symptoms and prevents secondary and primary lymphoedema
  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Reduces fibrosis
  • Relaxes muscles and improves mobilisation
  • Speeds up healing of wounds and burns

Alternative ways to improve symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Combining other known ways to improve symptoms with deep oscillation therapy may help to increase the long term positive effects. These may include:

  • Medications, such as pain killers, anti-seizure drugs and antidepressants
  • Exercise, combining cardio and resistance training
  • Talking therapies, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy
  • Help and support groups for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Action UK is a registered charity and can help put you in contact with local support groups, as well as providing legal support.

Posted on Aug 15, 2020

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